Sierra Leone Telegraph: 8 September 2020:
The corruption case against former vice president, Victor Bockarie Foh and five others, brought by the Anti-Corruption Commission in 2017, has gained traction again after the proceedings were stalled due to the Corona virus pandemic and the flight of one of the accused – Ibrahim Fakeh Conteh, who is believed to have left the jurisdiction. Interpol is said to have been officially contacted to track down the wanted accused.
Counsel for Victor Foh – the 2nd accused (Photo), H. M. Gavao, has asked the prosecution to produce a video recording that was made of a vital event showing the 1st accused – Sheka S. Kamara, and the former vice president shortly before the 1st accused left the shores of Sierra Leone for Saudi Arabia on the 18th August 2017, as Head of the of the Sierra Leone delegation to perform the Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca.
In addition to the video recording, Mr. Gavao also asked the presiding Judge – Justice Reginald Fynn to order the prosecution to also make available to the defense, the audio recording that was taken simultaneously while the former ADC, who arrested and escorted the 5th accused – Ibrahim Fakeh Conteh to the ACC with the sum of US$ 60,000, was making his statement to the ACC, as well as the statement itself. Neither has been produced by the prosecution, nor are they forthcoming according to the state prosecutor, C. T. Mantsebo.
“That statement has not been produced in court; that statement is extremely germane and exculpatory of the 2nd accused,” Mr. Gavao reiterated during the proceedings on Thursday 27th July, 2020.
Mr. Gavao averred that in modern practice, it is the duty of the prosecution to produce all available evidence to the court, whether or not it is incriminating or exculpatory of the accused.
State Counsel, Mr. Mantsebo, has informed the court that the statement could not be traced, neither could he make available the video or audio recording. Instead, the prosecutor brought the former ADC to Victor Foh, who actually did the video recording on his personal mobile phone, suggesting to the court that he would be the best person to produce the video in court.
Victor Foh’s lawyer has argued that there could be ‘embedded in that recording certain vital pieces of evidence that may not have been captured in court.’
Regarding the video recording done on the instructions of the 2nd accused, which is a video recording of the entire incident of the alleged handing over of the sum of US$ 60, 000 to the 2nd accused – Victor Foh in his house, Mr. Gavao asked the learned Judge to direct the prosecution to produce it, which Justice Fynn dutifully ordered – and that order still stands.
The matter is being heard every day at the Anti-Corruption Division of the High Court of Sierra Leone.
The prosecution has closed its case; defense Counsel for the 1st accused – lawyer S. Wil has led in evidence his first defense witness (DW1) Sheka S. Kamara, the 1st accused, who was the secretary to the 2017 Hajj Committee.
Mr. Kamara has been cross examined by Victor Foh’s Counsel, H. M. Gavao and Counsel for the State, C. T. Mantsebo. The latter finished cross examining the 1st accused last Wednesday, 26th August 2020. The matter stands adjourned to tomorrow Wednesday 9th September, 2020.